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Going Handbag-Free: 14 Products to Help You Ditch the Purse

products to go handbag-free

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Here at Her Packing List, we’re advocates of minimalist packing. From traveling with only a carry-on, we further challenged ourselves to travel with only a handbag, and even applying our ultralight packing methods in organizing our homes.

Now it’s time for the next challenge: to go about our day-to-day lives with no bags at all!

We scoured the Internet for different products that can help us go purse-free and give our shoulders and back a break!

Speakeasy Hidden-pocket Travel Scarves

Price: from $44.99

Be stylish while keeping your personal items secure with the Speakeasy Travel Scarf
Be stylish while keeping your personal items secure with the Speakeasy Travel Scarf

They’re one of our most recommended travel products on this site!

When the weather gets nippy, there’s no better way to accessorize and keep warm than with a fashionable scarf.

Speakeasy’s travel scarves come in a variety of designs and fabrics – even some that work well in warmer weather! Best of all, they all come with a hidden pocket to keep your valuables close and secure.

Smartwatch

Smartwatches are extensions of our mobile phones. It can show incoming messages, make calls, book an Uber, play music, track steps, get directions from Google Maps, and even pay for goods and services.

Apple Watch Series 5

Price: from $499

The Apple Watch tells you more than just the time.
The Apple Watch tells you more than just the time.

The Apple Watch is one of the most popular smartwatches around and like other Apple products, works only within the Apple system.

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna

Price: $295

Fossil Julianna Smart Watch: Smart and stylish
Fossil Julianna Smart Watch: Smart and stylish

Android users are spoiled for choice. Many watch brands have come up with their own smartwatches to pair with Android devices including luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Hublot, Montblanc, and TAG Heuer.

Phone cases with card slots

Almost everyone brings their phones when they go out these days. Aside from it being a powerful mini-computer, mobile phone cases and accessories can also carry your identification card, transit card, and a debit/credit card.

There are several designs available on Amazon, but here are two that caught our attention:

TORU CX Pro Case Wallet

Price: $14.99

The Toru Case Wallet keeps it all in one place.
The Toru Case Wallet keeps it all in one place.

Not only does it carry your cards, but it can also protect your phone when you drop it.

Cell Phone Card Holder Pocket Sticker

Price: $7.99

Give your phone pockets!
Give your phone pockets!

Most phone cases are specific to certain models, but this sticker can be used on different cell phone brands and models.

Bandolier Emma Crossbody Phone Case and Wallet

Price: $95.00

A phone case and wallet that you can easily carry around
A phone case and wallet that you can easily carry around

No pockets? No problem! This phone case-slash-wallet comes with a crossbody strap. It’s still not as cumbersome as a full handbag and delivers in hands-free convenience.

Ikepod Tri-fold Key Wallet/Holder

Price: $22.89

A tiny organizer for your keys, cards, and money.
A tiny organizer for your keys, cards, and money.

Never leave the house without keys again with this compact trifold wallet. It has 6 hooks for keys and slots for cards and cash too.

Downsize Your Handbag!

Check out our podcast interview about downsizing and minimizing your daily handbag.

Eagle Creek Undercover Bra Stash

Price: $13.95

eagle creek undercover bra stash
Talk about secret stashes!

Pickpockets have to be really skilled to get your cash inside this secret stash! This secret stash can be attached to bra straps so your ID and money are very secure even without carrying a bag.

One of the downsides of using a bra stash is that you won’t be able to access your stuff while out and about unless you duck into a restroom. 

Stashbandz Garter Purse

Price: $19.99

stashbandz garter purse for handbag free travel
No pockets in your dress? No problem with the pocket garter!

On the topic of secret stashes, here’s another option. The lace garter purse features 2 pockets for all sorts of items and it securely straps around the leg for a bag-free and worry-free night out with the girls.

Running Buddy Magnetic Buddy Pouch

Price: $19.99

Instant pockets for any bottoms!
Instant pockets for any bottoms!

Whether for running or traveling, the Buddy Pouch can hold your stuff for you so you can go bag free. It comes in two sizes; standard, which can fit a smartphone, and mini, which is just the right size for your IDs.

  • Read the HPL review of the Buddy Pouch, a money-belt alternative for travelers.

Happy Cow Hip Bags 

Price: $85.00

Be happy and hip with the Happy Cow Hip Bag
Be happy and hip with the Happy Cow Hip Bag

Fanny packs are a great way to go hand-free. Though it is technically a bag, it’s small enough that only the bare essentials can fit inside. 

The straps of the Vintage Hipster can fit through belt loops and the bag has a hidden pocket at the bag so it is inaccessible when you are wearing it.

fulFILL Container

Price: $20.00

Fill the container with your essentials without filling your bag.
Fill the container with your essentials without filling your bag.

Can’t pare down to just phone, wallet, and keys? The fulFILL container is the solution for those “what-if” situations that only happen once in a blue moon. 

Bring small amounts of mint, lotion, bobby pins, makeup in this container and slip it into your wallet, or pocket.

Clever Travel Companion Tank Top with Two Secret Pockets

Price: $41.90

Hidden pockets are the way to go!
Hidden pockets are the way to go!

Pockets are the key to going without a bag. This tank with hidden pockets is perfect for pairing with bottoms that do not have pockets (the bane of women’s wear).

As reviewed by HPL’s Brooke, she says, “When not in use, the tank top is pretty much normal looking, but given its more form-fitting style, it’s harder to hide bigger items in the pockets without seeing the bulk. However, if you wear the tank as a base layer, underneath another top, then it works perfectly!”

SCOTTeVest

Price: from $99

There's no shortage of pockets in a SCOTTeVEST!
There’s no shortage of pockets in a SCOTTeVEST!

Woes about the lack of pockets in women’s clothing are gone with the SCOTTeVEST. It comes with a whole bunch of pockets – one that can fit an iPad!

Designed for bag-free travel, their vests and jackets can be worn anytime. It is lightweight, water and stain repellent.

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Written by Nina

Nina Fuentes splits her time between Manila and Bulusan, Sorsogon in the Philippines. She is one of the pioneering female travel bloggers in the country and her blog, Just Wandering, has been recognized as the Best Travel Blog at the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and at the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards. She has recently started Just Wandering Tours, offering customized tours of Bulusan and the province of Sorsogon.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

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